Image courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health.

WATERTOWN — The state Department of Health has ended the free, state-sponsored COVID-19 testing program at Samaritan’s Drive-Up Testing location, 1575 Washington St.

The state cited marked improvements in public health as the reason for the closure of the testing site, according to Samaritan.

The drive-up testing site had been open to the community since July 13, 2020. Samaritan staff were able to offer 9,000 free COVID-19 tests through the state-sponsored program.

Samaritan Health said its leadership has engaged in discussions with Jefferson County Public Health officials about ensuring members of the community have access to free testing, especially those who are un- or under-insured and those who need testing for travel or other purposes.

This program closure does not impact other Samaritan patients who are currently using the drive-up testing site. Those with symptoms may still call Samaritan’s Resource Line at 315-755-3100 for questions and referrals to testing.

North Country Family Health Center offers PCR COVID-19 rapid and send-out laboratory testing to anyone in the community in a drive-up testing site at its main campus on Arsenal Street.

The Health Center participates with the Federal COVID-19 Uninsured Program to offer uninsured individuals the opportunity to get tested without worry of cost and bills health insurance companies for those who are insured.

Any individual in need of a COVID-19 test may contact the Family Health Center at 315-775-7777 to make an appointment, Monday through Friday. Individuals do not need to be a Family Health Center patient to be tested.

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